The long weekends cherished by Mexico’s schoolchildren and workforce are secondary to historical accuracy, as far as the president is concerned.
President López Obrador announced that he will propose a reform at the end of the current school year to eliminate the long weekends known as puentes (bridges) in order to better honor the country’s history.
His proposal will aim to move federal holidays that commemorate historical events to coincide with the actual dates on which they took place, rather than giving the public a day off work and school on the closest Monday or Friday.
“The commemoration of independence will be on the actual day, and the same for November 20, the anniversary of the Revolution,” he said at the celebration of the 103rd anniversary of the promulgation of the Constitution of 1917 in Querétaro.
“I know that it will create controversy, but those who don’t know where they come from don’t know where they’re going.”
“The constitution of 1917 enshrines the desires of the Mexican people who fought for democracy, liberty and justice. It’s very unfortunate that in recent years people have forgotten these historical dates. Schoolchildren, even in secondary school, talk of puentes, but not of the reason they’re not attending school on Friday or Monday — as has just happened,” he said.
“It turns out that no one remembers that the constitution was proclaimed on this day, the 5th of February.”
Former president Felipe Calderón criticized the announcement on Twitter, arguing that the long weekends have a socioeconomic importance that outshines historical accuracy.
“It’s a grave error returning the days off to the historical dates. For many families, the long weekends are the only opportunity to take a vacation. Without them, hundreds of tourist areas won’t have activity or employment,” he said.